April 30 - Obama ducks a question about the Chinese dissident believed to be under U.S. protection in Beijing. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION President Barack Obama on Monday (April 30) ducked a question about a Chinese dissident believed to be under U.S. protection in Beijing but said China will be stronger if it improves its human rights record. At a news conference with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, Obama appeared to be walking a fine line between not saying anything to make it harder to resolve Chen Guangcheng's case while conveying U.S. respect for human rights and U.S. appreciation for wider cooperation with China. Chen escaped house arrest in rural China last week and is under U.S. protection in Beijing, according to a U.S.-based rights group. Asked directly about Chen's case, Obama replied: "Obviously I am aware of the press reports on the situation in China but I am not going to make a statement on the issue." Obama said the issue of human rights comes up every time there are senior U.S.-Chinese talks, saying the United States does so both on principle and because "we actually believe China will be stronger as it opens up and liberalizes its own system."